tv Inside Washington PBS October 7, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT
presidential debate, around one to mitt romney. >> it is matt, arithmetic. >> where was the president's fastball? >> i felt he could of been more aggressive. >> joining the candidates and the center stage, the beleaguered middle class. >> middle americans have been buried, they are being crushed. >> that is when joe biden says. >> how they can justify raising taxes on the middle class who has been bearish for the last four years. >> to joe biden. [applause] don't boo, he has the best thing we have got going, guys. >> it was the biggest drop since -- i read that in a column friday morning. on the cover 25 1415 the english king henry the fifth led his army to victory. french king charles the sixth
was mentally incapacitated at the time of battle. that is about as far as i wanted that one. charles? >> you were there, as i recall, you covered it for "the daily frog." it was felt he could of been moe aggressive. >> quite a route. i must say, when i wrote the column, i tried to keep on quoting -- keep from gloating. >> you did not. >> the washington punditry says that mitt romney won the debate hands down and that the president was aware of his game. here is a sample. >> you have been president four years, you said you would cut the deficit in half. we still have trillion dollar deficits. >> five weeks before the election, he says his big idea is, never mind. >> if there is any good news for
the president, it is that the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8%, from 8.1%, the lowest since he took office. we were on the ground in denver. jonathan, you said that romney took the if there is any good np republican diverging on panic. them? >> they are backing away from the edge. there is no question this was a make or break moment for governor romney. if he had not shown up like he did in denver, you would have seen a really ugly scene here. this puts them back in the game. it restores confidence among other people running for the house and senate this year who are now happy to be seated with him. it gives them a real boost when they desperately need it. he still hasit gives them a reat of swing states. this puts him back in the game, it turns around and narrative. i am curious to see the next wave. if he is closing the gap in these swing states, there will be pressure on president obama
to show up for the second debate. >> the president's critics say that the president was sleepwalking through history, like he wanted to be somewhere else. did this turn it around for>> yi have ever said this on television before. i told you so. he has never been a natural debater. he always has to be beaten almost by his staff into being a good debater. the only time i thought he was a superb debater was with john mccain. they really had to knock him out to do that. he is a competitor, he will be back, but romney has done this consistently through the campaign. he has been a very good debater when he had to be. he had good debates in the primary when he needed to. obama, this was a missed opportunity. looking down all the time was lethal. >> colby, where was the
president's fastball? >> he did not have it. he did not have anything. they are dancing in end zone now, the republicans, but we're not even yet at halftime. the president did not bring his game, and you cannot blame anybody, the moderator, jim lehrer, how he handled it, the remarks of romney. fair warning is fair play. he knew what kind of debater romney was. all he had to do was look at the videotapes from florida, and he did a lot of things wrong, the optics were wrong, looking down, he did not have the responses he should of had. he let romney get away with saying things, like this comment on medicare, which was not true. >> he never mentioned the opportunity that he had in the
last few weeks, the 47% thing. those are running across the country in ads. the president did not mention it once. >> mitt romney told shawn hammett the last night that that was a bad mistake, that 47% thing. he says he was sorry. >> i never said this on television, but nina is right. she stumbled on the truth when she said that obama is not a good debater. it is not that obama was off his game, that is his game. if he does not have a prompter, he is not good. you see it in his press conferences where he does not have a prompter. he has never been good at conferences. he rambles. the press has been unimpressed with what he does. he can decide how long he wants to take for an answer. this is who he is.
it is going to be at a town hall the next one. he has more ability to connect with an audience than romney, so he will have an advantage in the second debate that he did not have been the first. >> would you rather be good or lucky? 7.8% unemployment rate. that is pretty good news. >> unless you actually look at the numbers. if you look at those getting new jobs, about 114,000. the need to have 150 to stay at the same rate. what has been happening is you have people leaving the work force, retiring, or -- wait a minute, nina -- or when you become chronically unemployed, over one year, you drop off the rolls and you are not put in the denominator. when that happens, the rate will fall artificially. >> psychologically, having broken the% barrier. >> it is not at the pace it
should be, that is the bottom line. allow me, please. i am not jim lehrer. allow me. please. i am not barack obama. >> he clearly has control. >> the fact is, the some jobs number will not make a difference. the difference will be what barack obama does in the next half for the next two rounds that he has. it was a very poor performance. you have to give credit to mitt romney who was on his game. some of what you said very is the truth, but that is neither here nor there. >> on jobs, when the economy -- president said the economy created 5 million jobs, is that true? >> i do not know. these numbers are so squishy, it
is not 100% clear to me who is right about jobs. when i know is what they were saying on friday morning when they released those numbers. for the first time, more people who were out of the work force were getting jobs, and that is news. >> it is also import to keep in mind who has been hard hit by the economy. largely younger americans, african-americans, and hispanics. either those who would not vote or are supporting president obama. so i think you have got a pool of swing voters out there who are actually doing better by now in this economy than many people. >> let us talk about entitlement. >> if you are around 60 or older, you do not need to listen any further, but for younger people, we did talk about what changes are occurring. >> if you are 55, you may want to listen. this will affect you. >> this is the debate over congressman ryan's plan to turn
medicare into a voucher program. the president says that it needs to be tweaked. medicare, he says, needs some changes. we have been bellyaching about entitlements for years. ryan has a plan to do something about it. what is the problem? >> the problem is, he would, in effect, turn medicare into a voucher program. the president touched on it but did not stay with it. he allowed romney to get away with it. the voucher program would cause people to take a chunk of money from the government and go out and buy their own insurance. only a limited amount of money would be available. then the costs go up, the senior citizens, who get that, have to pay the difference. the guarantee would be gone. that is the substance of how they would deal with medicare and that is the way it would be. the president did not make the case as effectively as he should
of on that. >> that is factually wrong. let me just say, that is factually wrong. under the romney plan, the amount of money the government will give you is equal to the amount of the second lowest bid, meaning that you can get that plan for nothing, or the cheaper plan, there will be one cheaper, and then you can keep the extra money in your pocket. you have a choice, with no expenditure on your part of at least two plans, and you also have a plan for traditional medicare. >> allow me to add a factor here. under this precept, what i support is no change for current retirees and their retirees for medicare peer that is what mitt romney says. here is how it works. it would repeal obamacare. the 60 million senior citizens who are now getting services would lose them.
they would get preventive care without deductibles, copays pier $3.9 billion. that is what happened with mitt romney's program. >> let me look at the big picture here for a second. obama -- they are both completely disingenuous about this. the voucher plan will cost people seriously as a move down the road, in terms of services. there is no way we can continue to spend what we spend now on medicare without some serious changes, not just tweaking. >> romney says the president has colon $16 billion from medicare. is that accurate? >> it is in terms of what they are predicting over the years, the reducing costs for medicare, to make obamacare neutral.
what he does not mention is that his own running mate, paul ryan, made the same projections for his plan. nina is right, both are not being totally straight with the voters. president obama goes after romney and ryan in the way the democrats go after the gop when it comes to entitlements, but as we know, last summer, president obama was happy to make serious changes to medicare in exchange for getting a grand bargain. if he is reelected, he will go back to the table and i am sure the same questions will be on the table again. he has said he is open to making those changes. >> let me explain the difference between what obama would do with a $716 billion, and what romney and ryan would do. obama takes the money out of medicare and reduces the payments to doctors and hospitals which obviously reduces services. one sixth of all hospitals will have to shut down or refuse the
elderly. he takes the money, and the 716 he saves, and places it into a new entitlement called obamacare, which will fund the uninsured. good cause but it takes from a and gives to b. what ryan does, in the original plan, he takes the same amount, and put it back into the medicare trust fund way to invest in the future. medicare is a way to see that we are going to cut a little now and then we will have it in the out years, where under normal plans, with no changes, you would have nothing in the out years. >> ryan has dropped that since he came on. >> suggesting that the 716 comes from the beneficiaries -- >> give me a break. >> give me a break. we have to take a break. more on taxes. >> governor romney's central tax
plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut, on top of the bush tax cuts, and $2 trillion in the additional military spending that they have not asked for. >> i do not have a $5 trillion tax cut, i do not have a tax cut to the scare you are talking about. i think we should buy tax relief to people in the middle-class. i will not reduce the income of tax paid by hire people. >> does romney have a tax plan or not? >> what was jack kemp thinking? the republican on stage deny that he wanted to cut taxes for people across the board. it was striking to me to hear a nominee of the gop in 2012 running away from a big tax complaint. it speaks about the obama campaign been effective against romney and his tax plan, portraying tax cuts for the rich that will blow a hole in the deficit. secondly, it speaks to a shift in the conservative movement,
slightly away from tax cuts to deficit reduction. that is the new focus on the right. romney was making that point. >> forgive me. that is it a complete misinterpretation. i sat there with all due respect. >> you do not have all due respect for me. >> go ahead. >> hospitality. >> you are eating up time here. ok, it is my turn to talk now. >> there is a distinction -- you overlook the distinction. tax rates and tax revenue. when romney is saying -- how plane can i make it? we are going to cut rates. we are not going to reduce the amount of revenue.
exactly as what happened in 1986 with the reagan tax reform. you cut the rates, you eliminate deductions, and you end up with the same amount of revenue. it is what was recommended in the commission that obama had appointed. >> there is study after study after study that says even if he succeeded in doing that, it is not enough to achieve the targets we're talking about. what is interesting is, you never hear romney say, no new taxes. you do not hear him say that. >> colby? >> he proposes a 20% across-the- board tax cuts. >> marginal tax rate. >> alternative minimum tax. he proposes tax deductions in real-estate to reduce the deficits. what this means is, over time,
$45 billion over the next decade. >> we are running short on time. the dough and paul debate. >> this is a deadly earnest. how they can justify raising taxes on the middle-class, who have been buried the last four years. how, in lord's name, can they justify raising their taxes? >> vice-president biden just today said that the middle-class over the last of we were years has been ". ." we agree. that means we need to stop digging by electing mitt romney the next president of the united states. >> what did you think, jonathan? >> you talk to a lot of folks in the romney campaign and they say joe biden is the gift that keeps on giving. you saw him pause when he said four years. i think he meant to say the last 10 years, and it came out wrong.
this is fodder for the obama campaign. it will not change, i do not think, in a huge way, the course of events, but there is no question the obama campaign folks, every time biden is out there, they are nervous about what he is going to say, how it comes out. they would prefer to have barack obama cleaning up barack obama this week, rather than joe biden cleaning up barack obama. >> what do you think? the vice presidential debate is coming up. >> it just so happens joe biden and paul ryan respect each other and get along well. those two were the ones that had all the protestants. i think this will be a fun debate, and enjoyable debate. joe biden has a good sense of humor. you are not going to see him paint barack obama in his debate. >> i hope it is more
interesting. yes, there were 50 million people calling the first debate, and the question i have is, for how long? i was sitting there thinking, ok, obama did not show up to play, and this is unbelievably boring. if i did not have to do this for a living, i would turn on a show i wanted to watch. >> it depends on your perspective. i was fascinated, i was seized. my attention did not lapse for an hour-and-a-half. i have a medical question. if you saw the joe biden clip, how does a man of a certain age maintain such a high level of indignation continuously without getting a heart attack? can you believe what he is doing, all of this stuff? i think he needs to go easy, and i say that as a punt medical opinion, not political. we are going to raise your taxes by a trillion dollars.
i am sure obama loved hearing that. >> did they underestimate mitt romney? >> he can be very good in this setting. he is not touchy-feely, but as a businessman, he was always a person that love information. >> especially numbers. >> he knew this was make or break. he had bought portman playing obama, and apparently, he was pretty rough on him. and really talk back to him and said, you cannot do that, you have done this bad day, which he is not used to hearing, but he took it, because he understood this was the performance of his life. and it was the performance of his life. he had an unwilling co- conspirator in obama, who did not show up to play, but i think this would have been a great debate for him the matter what. he was really on, and he had worked hard to be on, and he is a very knowledgeable person.
>> the threat of the guillotine can focus the mind. people do not realize that romney is a very smart man. he is articulate, and he is capable. we saw this in the primary, and absorbing a lot of information about his opponents, and then spitting it back out. folks forget, this is one of the most evenly matched debates on the presidential level and i did not know how many years. george w. bush, john mccain, bob dole, they were not debaters. the republicans finally have someone on the state that could take it to a democratic challenger. >> colby? >> the prospect of hanging focuses the mind. did run the credit for this. he is a fighter. he came out of south carolina behind. he pulled together, took on new
to gingrich, and in the same thing to him as a bid to obama. he was well prepared. he was confident. he showed that he could go toe to toe with the president, looking in the eye, and not be condescending or patronizing. in town with obama the whether obama should have dealt with him. it was one of the mono and obama fell short. >> the result is historical unique. in the 50 years of presidential debates, and nothing there has ever been a debate where there was such a decisive win in an absence of a gaff. if you have something like four with eastern europe, or others along the way, it is decisive. it is usually a muddled outcome, or just one bad moment, like i knew jack kennedy. there was not a sound bite in this. one other point, the moderator. i know jim lehrer has taken a
lot of abuse because he lost control of the debate. we want the moderate enough to be in control. why should be in control of the debate? the debate ought to be about the participants. if the moderator ever in the future says, we have got to stop this and move on, i would like to hear one candidate say, why? besides we have to have six segments instead of five. >> the criticism of jim lehrer is -- from time to time, obama would look at him saying, help me, jim. mitt is not playing fair. >> in that case, the candidates should simply ask each other questions. >> as of friday, realclearpolitics average. wisconsin, obama, 7.6. michigan, 10 appeared pennsylvania, 10.
new hampshire, six. ohio, 5.5. virginia, 3.5. are those numbers don't change, jonathan? >> i think you will see a tightening of the race to florida and virginia will be competitive. the problem for romney is ohio. no republican has ever won the white house without ohio. there is a path for him to do it, but it is so narrow without ohio. he has a class problem in ohio. it is hard for him to relate to working-class voters, who, by the way, as mike huckabee said four years ago, romney reminds them of -- >> if you look at the day by day poll, and you look at the post debate numbers, each category, whether going from immigration to medicare, whatever, shows that obama has slipped in each category. iraq, which will not even mentioned, we see running moving